NETGEAR Storage Central Turbo SC101T review: NETGEAR Storage Central Turbo SC101T

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Typical Price: $349.00

NETGEAR Storage Central Turbo SC101T

(Part #: CNETNETGEAR Storage Central Turbo SC101T)
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Fast gigabit connection. Easy to use software.

The Bad No Web UI. Very little configurability or features.

The Bottom Line Netgear's NAS offering would be a whole lot better if it actually acted as a NAS. As it stands, it's no better than a crippled external hard drive.

7.0 Overall

Netgear's latest addition to the world of networked attached storage isn't a NAS in the traditional sense. Rather than the usual Web UI offering or mapping a networked drive, Netgear configures everything from a local client, and installs a driver which makes the device appear as an ordinary drive on your computer. This makes the device less useful as network storage and more of a backup drive, but it becomes obvious fairly quickly that this was Netgear's decision all along.

The Storage Central Turbo follows the tried and true last generation Apple-esque design of white and grey. The front panel can be lifted off to insert your separately purchased hard drives, the same panel having indication lights for power, hard drive activity and network activity.

The rear is positively sparse, with only the drive releases, power button, gigabit Ethernet port, power jack and an emergency reset hole.

Since it's treated as a local drive that just happens to be on the network, rather than a fully fledged network drive, features are limited. The lack of direct network access is made even more frustrating given that each drive is assigned an individual IP address on top of the unit's own IP, meaning the total device takes up three IPs while in operation.

After installing the driver, the client allows for essentially two modes of operation -- single drive, or mirrored (RAID 1) mode, choosing to eschew RAID 0 or JBOD options. These two modes are next to pointless for Network Attached Storage (NAS) anyway, but it's interesting to note that Netgear didn't cave to the "tick the feature check box" mentality that plagues others.

You can password a drive for protection on the network, but anyone who wants to access the device will need Netgear's "Storage Central Manager" on their PC in the first place. SmartSync Pro is included, so you can backup to the drive easily.

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